Monday Mailbag: Pronunciation Guide

We get a lot of questions about how to pronounce the names of particular MLPs. I figured that this week, rather than writing in Q&A format, I’d just write out a guide for all the names, tickers, and other things newcomers to the space get stuck on.

ONEOK Inc (OKE) and ONEOK Partners (OKS) – This is probably the one that gives everyone the most trouble. The most common mispronunciation is “own-EE-awk” but we have also heard “one-OH-kay.” The correct pronunciation is “one oak.” Please note also that it is spelled with all capital letters. Always “ONEOK;” never “Oneok.” Also, the ticker for the general partner, OKE, is correctly pronounced “oh kay ee,” rather than as a word.

Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP) – This name may be a bit more familiar, as its general partner, Cheniere Energy Inc (LNG), is more widely known. Nonetheless, the pronunciation is “sha-neer.”

Linn Energy (LINE) – The name of this E&P MLP is pronounced just like the woman’s name, Lynn. The ticker, however, is frequently pronounced like the word “line,” generally by people new to the space. Just remember, the company is pronounced “Lynn” Energy.

Ferrellgas Partners (FGP) – The pronunciation here is more a matter of correctly stressing the syllables. This one’s easy to remember. It’s not “Pharrell” like the singer, but “Ferrell” like the comedian.

Sunoco Logistics Partners (SXL) – Again, it’s simply a matter of which syllable to stress. Correctly said “sun-OH-co,” not “SUN-oh-co.”

BreitBurn Energy Partners (BBEP) – While the unusual spelling might be confusing, this company name is simply pronounced “bright burn.” The etymology of the name involves the last names of the two founders, Hal Washburn and Randy Breitenbach. They were roommates and petroleum engineers at Stanford before founding the company in 1988.

How to pronounce the names of the Alerian team members:

Kenny Feng – Our brave and fearless leader! His name is also the easiest to pronounce. Please note: everyone who is tempted to be overly formal: “Kenny” is his given name. No one at Alerian is named “Kenneth” or “Ken.”

Emily Hsieh (née Emily Wang) is our Director of Global Operations. She is newly married and celebrated her one-month wedding anniversary recently! (Congratulations, Emily!) We realize her new name might be a bit hard to pronounce, but try to forget the way it’s written and just call her “Mrs. Emily Shay.”

James Wang – Our Director of Data Analytics prefers the traditional Chinese pronunciation of his name: “Wong.”

Karyl Patredis – People often misread “Karyl” as “Karl,” but the logistics coordinator at Alerian is, in fact, a woman. Her first name is pronounced “Carol” despite the unusual spelling. Her last name (which we admit to being nervous about correctly pronouncing the first time we met her), is “pah-TREE-dis.”

Maria Halmo – Yours truly (Director of Research) has a last name of Slovakian origin, which is pronounced like two male names  “HAL-moe.”

Alerian – Finally, the name of our firm, just in case anyone was confused: “ah-LAIR-ian.” Two years ago, we joined our partners at ALPS to ring the opening bell at the NYSE. You can hear the pronunciation of our company name, as well as listen to an interview of our President and CEO, Kenny Feng, in this NYSE YouTube video.

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